Bishop Shamana to take part in border journey to raise awareness of immigration issues

July 12, 2007

At the end of July Bishop Beverly Shamana will join the members of the College of Bishops in learning first hand the impact of the country’s “border wars.”

The U-S/Mexico border is reportedly the site of the world’s largest sustained migration and is also a place of untold stories of death and danger.

 

The College of Bishops, Western Jurisdiction, is using a portion of its meeting time together to acquaint and educate themselves about the experiences tens of thousands of aliens – women, children and men – are living daily.

 

“For me it gives us a chance to establish relationships with the people who are traveling this difficult road and it’s a first hand experience to hear and see how so many are surviving, in danger, separated from families and living on the brink of despair.”

 

A tour of the border areas

 

Bishop Shamana and other members of the College will visit migrant guest homes, border patrol surveillance areas and meet with volunteers of Humane Borders, a non-profit organization working to assist immigrants who are facing deportation, and educate communities about the issues surrounding immigration.

 

During Annual Conference Session in June The California-Nevada Annual Conference approved a recommendation to create “a Special Immigration Taskforce that will address the long- and short-term needs of immigrants living in our communities.” Item 40 also called for the development of an action plan to educate congregations on the New Sanctuary Movement, and how they can participate in this program to protect immigrant families from being divided through detentions and/or deportations. To read the complete Resolution go to: Annual Conference Action on Recommendations

 

Bishop Shamana says the response of the Conference to the needs of immigrants is not only Wesleyan in nature, and a Christian responsibility, but is also a legacy passed down through our heritage as Americans.

 

“We’re called to care for the strangers. When we do that Christ says these are members of my family and you’re doing it for me. We did it in the 1980s, with the first sanctuary movement and we did it with the Underground Railroad. We are called to help people be liberated, to get to their freedom, whether it is in the South, El Salvador, Guatemala or Mexico. It is part of our history. Part of our heritage.”